You can use most images. Check the Fair Use guide and remember to cite your images properly.
Learn more about citing images.
You will probably need an image which is either copyright free or published under a Creative Commons License.
Learn more about finding copyright free images.
Learn more about Creative Commons Licenses here.
Copyright attaches the moment a work is created. There is no need to file special paperwork or use the symbol. Therefore you need to assume that a work is copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
Copyright does NOT apply to:
(However, unless it is listed as in the Public Domain it is still important to do further investigation as sometimes extensions apply and different countries actually apply different rules. You will need to check the rules of the country of origin of the work to be sure.)
(You can usually tell if this is the case as the image will have some sort of watermark on it. The watermark is an indication that you need to pay for the image in order to be able to use it.)
(Creative Commons Licenses have been developed because of the complicated nature of copyright. Find out more).
Some countries have a 'fair use' or 'fair dealing' policy which allows the use of copyrighted works in certain circumstances.
These circumstances include:
The US has a "fair use' policy which includes a four factor test to help you decide if you are using the copyrighted work appropriately.
The four factors test includes:
If you are using the image to make your own work attractive, then you need to have permission to use the image.
Remember: Fair use is not the same as attribution
Even though you may be allowed to use an image, you must still cite the image accurately to avoid plagiarism.
TO PROVIDE ATTRIBUTION AND TO AVOID PLAGIARISM SEE THE ACADEMIC HONESTY GUIDE
Librarians are not lawyers. The advice in this guide is just that; a guide to help you to think carefully about the images you use.
For more information check the sources:
Cult of Pedagogy, (2019) Teaching students to legally use images online. https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/online-images/
Ohio Wesleyan University, (2018) Images. https://library.owu.edu/c.php?g=13161&p=69945
Social Media Examiner, (2019) Copyright, fair use and how it works for online images. https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/copyright-fair-use-and-how-it-works-for-online-images/https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/copyright-fair-use-and-how-it-works-for-online-images/
Waters, S. & Burt, R., (2017) The educators guide to copyright, fair use, and creative commons. https://www.theedublogger.com/copyright-fair-use-and-creative-commons/